Why does shape matter? What do they look like and what is the purpose? Check out our explanations below to see what your longboard's shape is called and why you might want it.
Directional boards are made to go in one direction. This direction will be indicated by the nose or an outstanding kicktail for control. Most boards will come in this shape like Carvers, Cruisers and Downhill longboards.
Freeriding boards don't typically come in the directional shape, but that is so you can slide on the wheels without unevenly wearing down the wheels; much like rotating your tires on your car.
Symmetrical boards ride the same no matter what direction you ride it. Typically Symmetrical longboards will be in a Freeride shape, but Trick skateboards also fit this description. This means you don't have to fret when you hop on your board and just go!
Like said in an above description, another benefit is that you can slide on the wheels without unevenly wearing down the wheels; much like rotating your tires on your car.
Wheel cutouts are that funky shape where the trucks exist on their own peninsula off the board (think Florida sticking out the side of the USA). Don't worry, the integrity of the board is still amazing but this shape does serve a purpose. A Wheel Cutout is there so the wheels don't get Wheelbite and crash!
This doesn't mean that boards without Wheel Cutouts are terrible, but it shows that the relationship between the Trucks, Bushings and Wheels have when we setup your longboard so it is safe and a fun ride. Boards that have Wheel Cutouts are typically made for Cruising, Freeriding and Carving.
Most boards you see will be a top mount longboard. You can tell a board is a top mount by where the trucks are installed - if the trucks aren’t sandwiched in-between the deck and there is no hole in the board (check out Drop Through for contrast).
This is the standard setup you will see on a board for Cruising, Speed, Downhill, Freeriding and Carving. That's right, we weren't joking when we said most boards were Top Mount!
Wonder why your trucks are in-between the deck? This means your new board is a drop through deck. Drop throughs are always paired with a Freeride shape with Wheel Cutouts to allow deep Carving without interfering with the board.
For use while Carving, you can pair this board with soft bushings and medium to large (70mm-85mm) hard square lip wheels to allow a smooth carve back and forth. If you are looking for a Freeriding setup, opt for hard bushings with smallish to medium (60mm-70mm) soft rounded wheels, these make for great Freeriding boards!
Double Drop Through
A Double Drop Deck is usually a Drop Through board with a whole other feature - the space where your feet go has a lower clearance called a Drop Deck. This is great board shape for Speed, Carving and Cruising.
What do we mean by saying lower clearance? This shape of deck is molded this way to drop your center of gravity; this makes the board easier to push, gain momentum with more stability.
Here is our last lesson on longboard deck shape to learn the lingo. A Drop Decks means the shape of the deck is molded this way to drop your center of gravity. This makes the board easier to push, gain momentum with more stability. This is great board shape for Speed, Carving and Cruising.
Sometimes you see these as just a Drop Deck on its own where the trucks aren’t sandwiched by the board, but you will more commonly see Drop Decks as a Double Drop Deck (see above).